Usually at Bristol, the severity of the contact equates to the consequences from that contact. However, last Sunday, a slight side-by-side bump from Dale Earnhardt Jr. had disastrous results for Jeff Gordon, as it cut down the left rear tire of the No. 24 car and sent Gordon into the wall.
"It was just a freak situation and you kind of got to remember that, you know, and not really beat yourself up too much about it," Junior said. "Jeff has a good reputation in this sport. I've got a lot of respect and enjoy being his teammate. I've learned a lot from him even before we were teammates, just racing him over the years. He has been here a long time and I think we will be able to race each other without any problems.
Two weeks ago at Las Vegas, teammates racing each other also contributed to an incident when Matt Kenseth slapped the wall after being three-wide with Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle, his Roush teammates.
Before Bristol, Kenseth said that he hadn't talked to Edwards, but didn't harbor any animosity towards his teammate for the situation, saying that he was responsible for his own car in that situation. On Friday, Junior said that he and Gordon had talked after Bristol and that the two were still on good terms.
"We talked and I feel pretty good about how that went. We should have no problem going forward. It was an unfortunate situation, especially for him. I'm sure it stings a little bit for him and the team."
Unfortunately for Junior -- a cut tire was his downfall at Bristol too. With a handful of laps to go he cut down a tire and limped to the finish line in 15th.